Black fungus: Doctors in Karnataka advised not to use steroid in the first week of COVID infection


PTI, May 27, 2021, 7:50 AM IST

Bengaluru: Amid rising cases of black fungus in the state, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Wednesday appealed to doctors not to give steroids to patients in the first week of contracting the COVID-19.

The state has also decided to set up post COVID care wards in each district hospital to check black fungus infections, the Minister said.

“We had detailed discussions with the experts and we now have a clear understanding on the topic.I appeal to the doctors to stop giving steroids in the first week of the infection and start only in the second week,” Sudhakar told reporters after a meeting with the medical experts at Vidhana Soudha, the State Secretariat.

According to him, steroids given to those who have uncontrolled sugar levels in their bodies increases their diabetes further which leads to mucormycosis or black fungus.

He claimed those who have piriton also are affected by the fungal attack.

He said a discharge policy will be framed where those who are discharged from hospital will have their nasal cavity checked by ENT specialists and physicians.

If required, their MRI would also be undertaken, Sudhakar said, adding, those who have been discharged will be asked to revisit the hospital after a week for post COVID care.

To check instances of black fungus, post COVID care wards will be set up in each district hospital. The patients can visit the centre personally or can make a video call to show the progress.

Sudhakar said these patients will be under observation for a fortnight to check the nasal cavity.

Those who develop complications will be put in touch with the ENT specialists through video conference for guidance and immediate treatment, he explained.

In addition to Liposomal Amphotericin B, the Karnataka government has put forth a demand before the Centre for 20,000 doses of two other medicines to treat black fungus, he said.

According to Sudhakar, black fungus cases are more visible in patients who got treated in small hospitals whereas the cases appear very less in major hospitals.

Black fungus, a rare disease earlier, has become widespread with Karnataka reporting 481 cases presently, according to the data shared by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers D V Sadananda Gowda on his Twitter handle.

It has emerged as a post COVID complication among the infected persons.

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